What is GHS?

GHS is an acronym for The Globally Harmonised System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals. GHS is a system for standardising and harmonising the classification and labelling of chemicals worldwide. Its main aim is to adopt a common classification scheme for hazard identifications amongst various competing systems throughout the world. GHS sets out to:

·         Define health, physical and environmental hazards of chemicals

·         Create classification processes that use available chemical data for comparison within defined hazard criteria

·         Communicate hazard information, as well as protective measures on labels and Safety Data Sheets

 

What is changing?

The most notable change that will occur mid-2015 is the reorganisation of today's Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) to the GHS Safety Data Sheet (SDS) format. Hazard communication via product labels will also be streamlined and new pictograms will start to appear on containers at that time.

When will GHS be implemented?

The GHS standard is being adopted by many countries according to their own timetable. In the United States the OSHA timeline for adopting GHS is depicted, below.

The first major deadline was December 1, 2013. All Employers that handle chemicals were required to train their employees about the upcoming changes being made to the 29 CFR 1910.1200 Hazard Communication Standard. MSDSs and labels were not required to change at this time. It is expected to take approximately 18 months after the initial training deadline for chemical manufacturers and distributors to fully reformat their current product labels and MSDSs to the GHS format.

 

What is IRMCO's timeframe regarding GHS?

IRMCO has already completed its employee training requirement highlighting the formatting changes that will be occurring over the implementation period. IRMCO intends to fulfil its obligations under GHS. Like most manufacturers, IRMCO is currently working with its suppliers and preparing data on applicable products. We anticipate generating GHS compliant labels and SDSs before the June 1, 2015 deadline and sending revisions to all of our customers.